The Ukrainian Navy will be receiving another three Island-class boats from the US Coast Guard. According to the navy’s press service, the Ukrainian naval command has begun talks with representatives from the US in Odessa.
The talks reportedly began on January 28 and will last three days. The Ukrainian delegation will be represented by First-rank Captain Vasyl Radchuk, head of the naval command’s shipbuilding administration. The US delegation will be headed by Anthony Correale, project manager for the foreign sales program office of the US Coast Guard’s 922nd directorate.
“The meeting will take place as part of a program to deliver American coastal defense boats to Ukraine. At present, we are discussing the matter of another three boats being delivered this year and next year… We expect that by the end of 2020, the boats will be completely ready to accept crews, we will send them for training at the start of 2021. Provisionally, the first two boats will become part of the Ukrainian Navy as early as May 2021, the next after a short interval,” said Radchuk.
In this regard, it is particularly important for the boats to be ready to be handed over, and for Ukrainian crews to be trained. Another important matter is the possibility of additional training of Ukrainian instructors at the US Coast Guard base in Baltimore, so that in future they will be able to provide the full training cycle to future crews using the already acquired Island-class boats, directly in Ukraine.
“The Slavyansk and the Starobelsk were handed over to us in the condition they had been in at the time at the storage base, free of charge. But for the restoration of the technical condition, the training of crews and all kinds of trips, Ukraine paid. With respect to these three boats, we are considering the matter of 100% payment by the US. That is, we will pay exclusively for the flight from Ukraine to the US and back,” the Ukrainian media cites Radchuk as saying.
The first two Island-class boats from the US Coast Guard, WPB 1321 Cushing and WPB 1323 Drummond, were received by Ukraine as military assistance in 2017 and became part of its navy in October 2019. Ukraine renamed the vessels R 190 Slavyansk and R 191 Starobelsk